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East County News Service

March 8, 2015 (San Diego's East County) --Two suspects are under arrest on suspicion of two armed robberies that occurred yesterday—one at Fashion Valley shopping mall and the other at a Vons store in La Mesa.

Last night at 11 p.m., a man armed with a handgun robbed a female in the parking lot of the Vons grocery store at 5630 Lake Murray Boulevard in La Mesa. He brandished a handgun and took the victim’s purse. The suspect fled to a nearby white SUV driven by a woman; the SUV fled southbound on Lake Murray Blvd. The victim immediately called La Mesa Police and described the gunman as a black male adult wearing a hooded sweatshirt and the driver of the suspect vehicle as a black female adult. The victim also provided LMPD with the license plate.

Earlier in the night, at approximately 8:25 p.m., San Diego Police responded to a similar robbery at Fashion Valley. In that case, the victims were also able to obtain the license plate on the suspect vehicle and the information was broadcast to surrounding law enforcement agencies.

LMPD Officers began searching the area with assistance from the San Diego Police airship, ABLE. An LMPD Officer located the suspect vehicle traveling westbound on Interstate-8 near the I-15 interchange.

With assistance from ABLE and San Diego Sheriff’s Department canine unit, officers from LMPD and SDPD initiated a vehicle stop at Friars Road and Frazee Road and took two suspects into custody.

Investigators from LMPD and SDPD worked together during the investigation and recovered the firearm used during the robbery (discovered to be a replica revolver) and the property stolen from the victims in both cases. The suspects were arrested and booked for robbery and conspiracy.

The suspects are Brian Coats, 22, and Reynisha Bransford, 23, both from San Diego.  Coats was booked into County Jail and Bransford was taken to Las Colinas in Santee.

This investigation is on-going and anyone with information regarding either case is encouraged to call the La Mesa Police Department or the San Diego Police Department.


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